Thursday 26 November 2015

Ballarat Bilby Reunion

On Saturday 24 October I was invited to an "IG Meet Up" aka a Bilby Reunion at Cotton Factory - my home away from home in Ballarat.  My hexie partner in crime @IsabellaGolightly26 had flown down from Sydney and was one of the "hostesses with the mostesses" together with @AnneBoundy.

My dear friend & sister @Micheles_kitchen drove up from Melbourne on the Friday and stayed for a few days with me in Bendigo - we drove down to Ballarat together on Saturday with our bilbies - Mr Greeny and Miss Penelope. 

The meet up was also to be the long awaited launch of Isabella's prized Bilby Pattern. Limited patterns were available for purchase on the day however they can also be purchased on Etsy (details below).

The lovely lady in lavender is Alison's mum
Simone, Sharon & Isabella
Just call me "Duck face" quack quack - Isabella & I caught in the act discussing the flakers from "Hexie Down Under" round 1 - trying to organise angel hexies.
It was a good opportunity for Isabella & I to catch up and discuss what to do with the flakers from "Hexie Down Under" round 1
We don't like flakers!! Grrrrr
This is a more realistic photo of the two of us!! 
Alison & Isabella drawing the door prizes.  Yes some lucky bilby won a door ;0P
And the winner is.... "where are my glasses?"
Fiona, Mr Greeny, Michele & Miss Penelope
What does your badge say Isabella? "Full of Scrap"
And even the bilbies had fun!

Miss Snow Minty; Red Spot Special; Gidget; Forest; Moonshine (the little bilby); Miss Penelope; Mr Greeny & Dandy Boy - Mr Dandy Pants
Red Spot Special; Gidget, Miss Snow Minty, Forest, Miss Penelope, Mr Greeny, Mr Dandy Pants.  Moonshine in front (the little bilby).
"Awwww behold the sacred hole"
What is it about the hole in the table that the bilbies love??

Bilby Pattern Release:

The Bilby Pattern can be purchased as a PDF download.  You can also purchase kits and bilby eyes.

Much merriment was had by all and we also raised $35 in gold coin donations for the "Save the Bilby Fund"

Monday 23 November 2015

The Big Stash

I don't know about you, but I am usually pretty wary when companies advertise a mystery box for sale. I often wonder what is actually inside them?  Do you really get your money's worth?  Are the items of good quality?  Are they useful items that I really would make use of?

Well I recently received the November "The Big Stash" box from Two Blue Birdies and I can honestly say that I was pleasantly surprised!

According to their website:

The Big Stash is a box filled with sewing goodness, sent to you each month. It’s a box chock-full of gorgeous Fabric, 100% wool felt, Aurifil thread, sewing patterns, embellishments and gadgets especially curated by Two Blue Birdies that we know you’ll love.
Each month, we scour the market and pick the best sewing products to include in your stash box. It’s a great way to try new products and patterns that you wouldn’t necessarily choose yourself, so it really brings out the creativity in you.  
The contents of our Stash boxes are not revealed until after they are received by subscribers, which means it's like receiving a little gift in the mail each month!

What's in the box?

Each month, you'll receive a box with the following:
    • A sewing pattern
    • A quality sewing tool
    • 4 x themed Fat Quarters of fabric
    • 2 x pieces of 100% wool felt 25cm x 22.5cm
    • 2 x Aurifil 50wt Spools (200 metres)
    • 2 x embellishments
 Each box has a retail value of over $65
Please note: The Big Stash is not intended to be an "everything you need" kit. The products enclosed in the box may be themed or coordinating, however the supplies do not correspond to the featured pattern.
This is what I received:
The box arrives

I love that they included a list of the contents

A lot of care has been put into wrapping the contents.  So much so that I didn't want to rip the paper.

Squeals!!!!  I see Aurifil and I see Sewline and there are pom poms!!!

Wowsers!  Look at all these goodies!!

Wowsers alright!  I have to say I was squealing with excitement as I unpacked everything.  

So what was in the box?  

I added up the retail value of these items as listed individually on Two Blue Birdies' website, their combined retail value is $66.12.  The cost of "The Big Stash" box was only $49.95 plus postage.  

Limited quantities of left over boxes from previous months are also available for sale via their website together with "The Stash" box (which is a smaller box of goodies) and "The Felt Stash" box (both of these boxes are $34.95 plus postage).

All up I was extremely pleased with what was in the box and I can't wait to have a play with my new goodies!

Tuesday 3 November 2015

The Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt - Week 4

Week Four kicked off on the 19th of October and this week they released three blocks to sew:

Block 78 - Old Maid
Sadly the colours did not photograph very well on this block.

The letter attached to this block "East, West, Home's Best" hit a nerve with me.  The writer - Miss Homemaker - mentions how "after her mother died she had to give up her position as an interior decorator in the city and come back to the farm to keep house for her father and brothers" and she mentions that "she did not come willingly".  It's been 5-years since I was forced to sell my business and give up my career in the travel industry due to my chronic health; and it is nearly 4-years since I begrudgingly moved to Bendigo from my home in the Dandenong Ranges.  It has been very challenging to lose my corporate identity and my independence - financially and physically - and to adapt to a life which is mostly housebound - away from my support network and friends.  However as Miss Homemaker said "my resentment gradually left me" and I have tried to focus more on the positives. I've been sewing now for approximately 3-years and it has brought much joy back into my life and helped me to connect with so many wonderful, crafty & talented people. 
Block 49 - Katherine
Sometimes life takes us "From Ironclad Shoes to Roses" - sometimes we wish and long for things we don't have - the reality is - we don't always get what we want - often we have to sacrifice much.  Along the bumpy journey we are molded and shaped -  "Sometimes the way was so thorny we needed ironclad shoes, then again there were roses".  Every day brings it's own unique challenges, but each day also brings happiness - some days we just have to look a little harder to find it.  

Block 94 - Susannah

"Earn Before Spending" - there are so many people out there burying themselves in debt and/or living purely from paycheck to paycheck.  In this modern age it is all about "Keeping up with the Jones'" - always buying the newest and latest and hippest of everything, charging to credit cards, borrowing's an endless cycle of debt.  Earn before spending is a good message we all should heed.